Warren "Baby" Dodds, Drums 

b. New Orleans, LA, USA.
d. Feb. 14, 1959, early on -in New Orleans - played with Louis Armstrong, King Oliver and Papa Celestin.

Baby Dodds was one of first great drummers of Jazz and the brother of Johnny Dodds. Baby got his start playing in parades in New Orleans, occasionally with Frankie Dusen's Eagle Band. He played briefly with his brother in Kid Ory's Band, but was embarrassed when all the musicians walked off stage because of his poor playing. This incident spurred him on to become a better musician. He played in several other bands in New Orleans before joining Fate Marable's riverboat band in 1918. While working on the riverboat he played with Louis Armstrong, Johnny St. Cyr, Pops Foster, among others. He stayed in Marable's band until King Oliver asked him to join his band in San Francisco in 1921. Dodds followed Oliver to Chicago and was the drummer in King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band. After the breakup of that band Dodds worked with Honore Dutrey at the Dreamland in Chicago and with several other bands in the city.
From 1927 to 1929 Baby Dodds played in his brother's band at Kelly's Stables along with Freddie Keppard. He was the drummer on many of the classic Chicago Jazz recordings of Jelly Roll Morton's Red Hot Peppers and Louis Armstrong's Hot Seven. 
Throughout the Depression, Baby played in many of the small groups led by his brother Johnny Dodds and helped run a taxi cab company in Chicago. When his brother died in 1940, he went on to play with Jimmie Noone and with Bunk Johnson. After 1949 Dodds had a series of strokes that left him partially paralyzed, but still managed to play from time to time up until his death in 1959.
Drummerworld: Warren Baby Dodds

Roy E. Blackwood, Baritone vocals 

b. Fentress, MI, USA, d. March 21, 1971.
Member: 'The Blackwood Brothers', a "Gospel" vocal group formed in 1934.
Henry Coker, Trombone 

b. Dallas, TX, USA. d. 1979, USA.
Studied piano and harp in Wiley College (Washington, TX)

Mary Jane DeZurick, vocals 

b. Royalton, MN, USA.
Member group: "DeZurik Sisters" (aka: the "Cackle Sisters") consisted of Carolyn DeZurick (Singer/Guitar, b. Dec. 24, 1919 Royalton, Minnesota), Mary Jane DeZurick (Singer, b. Feb. 1, 1917 Royalton, Minnesota), Eva DeZurick (Singer, b. Royalton, Minnesota) and Lorraine DeZurick (Singer, b. Royalton, Minnesota). The DeZurik Sisters were the first women to become stars on both the National Barn Dance and the Grand Ole Opry, largely a result of their original yodeling style.
Born and raised on a farm in Royalton, Minnesota, Mary Jane (1917-1981) and Carolyn Dezurik (b. 1918) were part of a family of seven. Their father Joe played fiddle, their sisters sang, and their brother Jerry played accordion and guitar. Inspired by their family and the sounds of the animals and birds around them, they developed an astonishing repertoire of high, haunting yodels and yips that soon had them winning talent contests all over central Minnesota. In 1936, they signed a contract to appear regularly on Chicago radio station WLS (AM)'s National Barn Dance, and were hired in 1937 to perform on Purina Mills' Checkerboard Time radio show, where they sang as The Cackle Sisters.

In 1938, the sisters recorded six songs for Vocalion Records: "I Left Her Standing There" (Vocalion 4616-A), "Arizona Yodeler" (Vocalion 4616-B), "Sweet Hawaiian Chimes" (Vocalion 4704-A), "Guitar Blues" (Vocalion 4704-B), "Go To Sleep My Darling Baby" (Vocalion 4781-A) and "Birmingham Jail" (Vocalion 4781-B). Those six songs were the only tracks the duo would ever commit to vinyl, although some recordings exist of their appearances on Checkerboard Time.

Both sisters married musicians they had met at WLS—Carolyn accepting a proposal from Ralph "Rusty" Gill, a singer and guitar player, on September 1, 1940, and Mary Jane saying yes to Augie Klein, an accordionist, before the month was out. In 1943, Rusty and Augie were drafted into World War II and Mary Jane had taken what proved to be a short-lived retirement to look after her new family. Carolyn joined Sonja Henie's Ice Review for a year or so, afterwards returning to Minnesota for a series of appearances on radio station KSTP (AM). Mary Jane rejoined her sister in 1944, doing road dates with Purina and regular shows at Nashville's Grand Ole Opry.

Rusty was discharged from Army in 1946 and returned to WLS with his old band, The Prairie Ramblers. Mary Jane retired for good the next year so Carolyn recruited their sister Lorraine, and the new DeZurik Sisters returned to WLS in Chicago as well. By 1951, after a stint at Cincinnati's WLW, Lorraine had retired and Carolyn had joined the Ramblers as their new female vocalist, filling a decade-long vacancy created by the absence of legendary trick yodeller Patsy Montana. Carolyn and Rusty moved back to Chicago, where they began appearing with the Ramblers on the daily variety show Chicago Parade, airing on WBKB-TV (now WBBM-TV and WLS-TV).

Lorraine lives in Washington state with her husband. Carolyn and Rusty still live in the Chicago area.
Years after the height of their fame, Carolyn recalled that the DeZurik Sisters achieved their sound simply because she and Mary Jane "listened to the birds and tried to sing with the birds."
External links:Hillbilly Music: DeZurik Sisters
National Public Radio: The Cackle Sisters, Yodelling Queens (includes three songs to listen to):
WFMU/365 Days Project - The DeZurik (Cackle) Sisters (with 32 tracks from Ralston Purina Checkerboard Time)

Sid Feller, Leader/trumpet 
b. New York, NY, USA
d. Feb.16, Beachwood, Ohio, USA

"Lulu Belle" 

C&W vocals/guitar
b. Boon, NC, USA.
née: Myrtle Eleanor Cooper.
Member group: "Lulu Belle and Scotty".
For a generation from 1934, Lulu Belle and Scotty were America's leading Country husband-wife team. For 20 years, they starred on the 'National Barn Dance' show heard over Chicago's radio station WLS, and then spent a shorter period on the "Boone County Jamboree" show over WLW Cincinnati. They were also seen in several motion pictures. 
After retiring, Scotty earned a Master's degree at Northwestern University, then taught school, farmed, and served as a bank director. His wife Lulu Belle participated in community activities, and in the mid-1970's, served two terms in the North Carolina legislature representing Avery, Burke, and Mitchell counties (as a Democrat in a normally GOP district).
Ralph Marterie 

b. Naples, Italy
d. 1978. Raised in Chicago, IL, USA, and a Pro by age 14.

Tony Martin 

b. Oakland CA, USA.
(Still with us- 2004).
né: Alvin Morris.
As a vocalist, his fame is worldwide. In his career, he played saxophone and vocalized with the Ted Gerun and Tom Coakley bands. In 1934, he decided to lead his own band (the Alvin Morris Orchestra) and actually did play some dates in and around Chicago during the 1934 World's Fair. Meeting little success, he made three decisions; he disbanded, changed his name to Tony Martin, and headed for Hollywood to try his luck in Motion Pictures. The rest is history. Tony's life is chronicled in the 1976 book "The Two of Us". The "Two" refers to Tony and to his long time wife, and show business partner, dancer Cyd Charisse.

"Jabbo" Smith, 
b. Pembroke, GA, USA.
d. Jan. 16, 1991.
né: Cladys Smith.
Jabbo Smith had one of the oddest careers in jazz history. A brilliant trumpeter, Smith had accomplished virtually all of his most significant work by the time he turned 21, yet lived to be 82. He learned to play trumpet at the legendary Jenkins Orphanage in Charleston, and by the time he was 16, Smith showed great promise. During 1925-1928 he was with Charlie Johnson's Paradise Ten, a top New York jazz group that made some classic recordings.
Smith was on a recording session with Duke Ellington in 1927 (resulting in a memorable version of "Black and Tan Fantasy") and played in the show Keep Shufflin' with James P. Johnson and Fats Waller. The high points of Smith's career were his 1929 recordings with his Rhythm Aces. These superb performances feature Smith playing with daring, creativity, and a bit of recklessness, displaying an exciting style that hints at Roy Eldridge (who would not burst upon the scene for another six years). But, although Jabbo Smith at the time was considered a close competitor of Louis Armstrong, he had hit his peak. His unreliability, excessive drinking, and unprofessional attitude resulted in lost jobs, missed opportunities, and a steep decline.
After playing with one of Claude Hopkins' lesser orchestras during 1936-1938, Smith settled in Milwaukee and became a part-time player. Decades passed, and when he was rediscovered in the 1970s (when he was picked to perform in the musical show One Mo' Time), he was a weak player, a mere shadow of what he could have been.
~ Scott Yanow

Harry Warren, Composer 

b. Brooklyn, N.Y.
d. Sept. 22, 1981, Los Angeles, CA.
Nee Salvatore Guaragna. Some of his hit songs are: "Rose of the Rio Grande", "Nagasaki", "You're My Everything", "I Found a Million Dollar Baby in a Five-and-Ten Cent Store", "Shuffle Off to Buffalo", "Forty-second Street", "Lullaby of Broadway" (his first Academy Award), "She's a Latin From Manhattan", "Jeepers Creepers," "You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby", "Chattanooga Choo Choo", "There Will Never Be Another You", "I've Got a Gal in Kalamazoo," "On the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe", lyric Johnny Mercer, "Serenade in Blue", "I Had the Craziest Dream", "Highland Fling", lyric by Ira Gershwin. and "That's Amore" (a Dean Martin hit vocal). Warren was the first major American song composer to write primarily for film.

Daniel K. Womack 

b. Keeling, VA, USA.
né: Obediah Donmell Jessie.

Notable Events Occurring
On This Date Include:

Reginald A. Fessenden, the Canadian-born radio inventor became the first person to broadcast a music program over radio. Originating from a transmitter in Brant Rock, Massachusetts, USA, the show had a female singer with Fessenden himself playing "O Holy Night" on the violin. Fessenden was the discoverer of the superheterodyne principle -- the basis for all modern radio receivers.

Bob Womack, drums
died in Indianapolis, IN, USA.
Age: 68.
Worked with both Tiny Bradshaw, and Lucky Millinder

Songs Recorded/Released
On This Date Include: 


King Oliver's Jazz Band

Red Onion Jazz Babies

Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra

Original Indiana Five
The Goofus Five
Harry Reser and his Orchestra

Pat Dollohan Orchestra
Walter Barnes and his Royal Creolians 
Ben Pollack and His Park Central Orchestra 

Fats Waller and his Rhythm


Music by George Gershwin
and Ira Gershwin

There's a cabaret in this city
I can recommend to you:
Peps you up like electricity
When the band is blowing blue.
They play nothing classic, oh no! down there;
They crave nothing else but the low down there.
If you need a tonic,
And the need is chronic
If you're in a crisis,
My advice is:

Grab a cab and go down
To where the band is playing
Where milk and honey flow down;
Where ev'ry one is saying,
"Blow that Sweet and Low-Down!"

Busy as a beaver,
You'll dance until you totter;
You're sure to get the fever
For nothing could be hotter
Oh, that Sweet and Low-Down!

Philosopher or deacon,
You simply have to weaken.
Hear those shuffling feet.
You can't keep your seat.
Professor, start your beat!

Come along, get in it.
You'll love the syncopation!
The minute they begin it,
You're shouting to the nation.
"Blow that Sweet and Low-Down!

brought to you by...   
Special Thanks To:
Scott Yanow, 
And all who have provided 
content for this site.